Wine of the Month

This month’s Hellraiser marathon was brought to you with (a lot) of Rioja Reserva Cepa Alegro, 2007. Not only is it currently on offer in Sainsbury’s, it’s been described as a good quality Rioja for a meaty dinner table. The perfect accompaniment then, to all those visceral, wet scenes of meat, flayed flesh, red-raw body-modification and blood in Hellraiser.

A medium bodied, spicy, and acidic wine, it boasts blood-red berry aromas, a smidgen of tobacco, woody tannins and a long, hint-of-vanilla finish. Tannin-tastic reds such as this go really well with rare meat. Meat is high in protein you see, especially the blood in rare meat, and protein softens tannins. A match made in bloody heaven. Or hell. It’s also great with meaty dishes such as roast lamb or game; its acidity cuts through the fat as efficiently as Pinhead skinning a doomed pleasure-seeker. A ‘modern’ Rioja, whatever that means, it proves complimentary with manchego cheese too, so it should complement the acrid, rubbery qualities of the later Hellraiser sequels...

Made from a delicately balanced blend of hand-harvested Tempranillo grapes from a sixty year old vineyard in the small, isolated town of Haro, and Graciano grapes from thirty year old vines, the wine is then aged in American oak barrels for twelve months. Just to make absolutely sure, it's then aged for a further six months in French oak barrels. The winery its produced in is family owned, and apparently the family has four generations worth of experience making wine, so you know you’re in good hands. Plus, I'm sure there's a great origin story in there, a la Bloodline.

Rioja to some, pish to others, Cepa Alegro Rioja would also go well with a nice vintage Hammer Horror, such as Taste the Blood of Dracula, or Frankenstein Created Woman. All that flesh and garish viscera on display could help soften its astringent flavour just as well as a decent Hellraiser flick. It might even help numb the pain if you drink enough of it…


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